There are only a few people in my family that like cake. This makes it challenging when birthdays come along, but you know me, I am always up to the task. Ten years ago our Russian exchange student was turning 17, and like many teenage girls, was dieting. She could eat fruit for every meal, so I decided to make her a watermelon birthday cake.
I wish I could find a picture of my first attempt at a watermelon birthday cake. It sure didn't look anything like the beautifully carved fruit pictured above. I'm pretty sure I cut a watermelon in half and wrote "Happy Birthday" using chocolate chips then added some sparklers on top. It wasn't great, but she loved it.
So, how, might you ask, did I come to create the much prettier version of a watermelon cake? With the help of fruit and vegetable carver, Nita Gill. Year's ago, she also created her first watermelon cake (center image) for a birthday party and so began her journey to become a highly skilled food carver.
Nita has created so many exquisite carvings over the years and lucky for us, she shares her skills through instructional videos and tutorials. I asked Nita, if I could watch her lesson on carving watermelon birthday cakes and share my experience with you. She happily agreed.
Nita's lessons are easy to follow and very detailed. She shows exactly how to use the special carving tools to make a cake in your home kitchen. I spent an afternoon watching the video and carving alongside Nita. It was nice to be able to rewind and watch things several times.
Now, I'm not going to lie, this didn't go without hiccups. When I cut into my watermelon, I noticed that the red part wasn't very round. I attempted to make the cake, but it was a triangle instead of a circle. It looked terrible. So, I went back to the store, to pick a nice round fruit. Actually I got several, just to be safe.
I cut into my second watermelon, and it was perfect. Whew!
I learned quickly that when cutting a straight line through a watermelon it requires a steady hand and a good, long, sharp knife. Once I got my cuts even and my watermelon level, I followed along with Nita and easily carved the base and the top border of the cake.
The challenge came in creating the draped pieces of white rind. My first few looked terrible. I think I re-watched the video six times before finally getting the hang of it. The good news, is that the ugly swags can just be put to the back of the cake. The ones in front, look pretty good.
Nita encourages you to practice with one cake before attempting to make one for an actual birthday party. I agree. I'm confident that if I carve another cake it will look much better, but I'm happy with my first attempt.
Next time, I'll try my hand at Nita's other designs including carving watermelon flowers. She teaches this technique in her Watermelon Cakes #2 video.
You too can create these wonderful cakes by following along with Nita's watermelon carving videos. Everyone can easily access a free video class by using the link below.
One lucky reader will even win a copy of Watermelon
Cakes #1 and Watermelon Cakes #2 Instructional Videos along with a set
of carving tools. You can enter to win by using the Rafflecopter below.
I did receive free products and affiliate commissions from Nita Gill's Vegetable and Fruit Carving for writing this post, but all opinions expressed here are mine.